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  • March 20, 2019
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Weekly Briefing: 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy; how to be an agile leader

Our weekly rundown of global policy

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The 100 Most Influential People in Climate Policy: These leaders are fighting to save our world. At a time when young people everywhere are marching for action on climate change, it’s more critical than ever to support those with the power to shape policy. Our inaugural list celebrates mayors, politicians and advocates — as well as a new generation of youth activists. (Apolitical)

To upgrade public services, governments need to teach their employees digital skills. In a world where citizens can get anything from groceries to a date online, dissatisfaction with analogue public services is growing. From academies to idea accelerators, here’s how governments are upskilling civil servants. (Apolitical)

The Leadership Labs: How to be an agile leader with Canada’s Chief Information Officer. In just 10 minutes, pioneering innovator Alex Benay will give you a rare inside look at how modern governments are tackling digital transformation and workforce renewal. Watch now.

Robot doctors are on the horizon. Today’s AI can be used to detect and diagnose childhood diseases as accurately as physicians. Here’s how China, Japan and England are pioneering its use to slash patient wait times and solve doctor shortages. (Apolitical)

Ten years on, where is the digital movement? A decade ago, there was no place for developers and designers in government. Bringing in techies has improved services — but the biggest change has been in how government is run, thanks to new emphasis on agile, user-centred work. (Richard Pope, Harvard Kennedy School & James Kennedy, Local Welcome)


It’s time to bring the moonshot — named for the US government’s 1969 moon landing — back to government. Learn how to infuse bold innovation into your work with Sarah Hunter, a former public servant who now works at X, Alphabet’s moonshot factory. The free workshop will take place on March 27.

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Energy, Environment and Economic Opportunity

Kansas City’s government will run on 100% renewable energy by next year. The city council voted unanimously to exclusively power municipal buildings with wind, solar and other energy-efficient sources. It also pledged to only purchase electric or hybrid vehicles for city use. (Kansas City Star)

Cities from San Francisco to Stockholm have slashed waste by up to 80%. Many have adopted zero-waste policies, which emphasise separating trash into dozens of categories, from compostables to clothing. Some governments offer citizens financial incentives to participate; others impose penalties on those who don’t. (Washington Post)

Evolving Cities

Tokyo is helping seniors sign up for a ‘second life’. A new initiative finds retirees flexible second careers — as teachers, carers or restaurant employees — to help them stay active in their communities. With a third of Japan now over 65 years old, governments are seeking new ways to curb isolation. (BBC)

Overcrowded Amsterdam is building a neighbourhood on the water. Schoonschip is made up of floating houses, equipped with solar panels, batteries and green roofs, on which residents can grow food. It’s a model that could work in other coastal cities vulnerable to flooding.  (Fast Company)


“If you are a public sector leader, I implore you to let go of everything you’ve ever learned about public sector governance. Assume that everything you’ve been taught is wrong, because everything is changing so quickly” — Alex Benay, Canada’s Chief Information Officer

Education and Changing Jobs

Forget learning how to sauté and slice — Denmark is schooling chefs on sustainability and equality. In an unusual instance of public funding, the government will support a school that aims to fix pervasive problems in the culinary industry, including climate change, food waste, sexism and racism. (The New York Times)

Gender Equality

On Equal Pay Day, women in Berlin paid 21% less for train tickets than men. Monday’s stunt was intended to draw attention to Germany’s gaping gender pay gap, which is one of the biggest in Europe. “You have to speak out when people are treated differently for no reason,” public transit operator BVG said. (The Guardian)

Technology Frontiers

India will use drones to undertake its biggest land survey to date. The drones will map 40,000 villages in the state of Maharashtra, and deliver land titles to residents. Currently, 15 million residents pay taxes on their homes without holding any rights. (This is Place)

And finally

Do you know what ‘cross-carpeting’ means? How about ‘watermelon politics’? A new dictionary compiles the witty, colourful phrases used across Africa to talk politics. The first term means to move from one political party to another; the second describes a person who claims to support one party, but really belongs to another. (The Conversation)

(Picture credit: Unsplash)


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